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News
Thermal mud pots at Controlled Thermal Resources’ project site at the Salton Sea. (Courtesy CTR)
August 6th 2020
Deep beneath the surface of the Salton Sea, a shallow lake in California’s Imperial County, sits an immense reserve of critical metals that, if unlocked, could power the state’s green economy for years to come. These naturally occurring metals are dissolved in geothermal brine, a byproduct of geothermal energy production. Now the race is on to develop technology to efficiently extract one of the most valuable metals from the brine produced by the geothermal plants near the... Read More
August 5th 2020
As the rate of electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the U.S. rises, the transportation sector will put additional pressure on the power grid. California expects more than 50% zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), which includes battery EV, plug-in hybrid EV and fuel cell EV, in new vehicle sales by 2030 to achieve statewide emission and pollution reduction goals. This added pressure on the grid could be very disruptive, but transportation and power grid... Read More
August 5th 2020
Kristin Persson, a senior faculty scientist in the Energy Storage & Distributed Resources Division within the Energy Technologies Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and director of the... Read More
July 9th 2020
Release of "beta" Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER) Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) announced the release of the beta Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER) (better.lbl.gov/) to the public today. The easy-to-use, open-source BETTER tool allows building owners and managers to rapidly... Read More
May 27th 2020
Falling prices for renewable energy and storage could help China get more than half its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 at lower costs, according to a new analysis from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab), the University of California, Berkeley and Stony Brook University.  The cost of energy from solar panels, wind turbines and battery storage have dropped as much as 85% over the past decade... Read More
May 13th 2020

FLEXLAB®, the world’s most advanced building simulator and testbed, will be used to simulate office and school heating, ventilation, and air conditioning configurations. (Credit: Berkeley Lab) As society prepares to reopen indoor spaces and ease back into some sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is launching a study... Read More
May 13th 2020
Wind plant performance declines due to plant age in the United States can be partially managed and is influenced by policy, according to a recent study from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The U.S. is currently the second-largest wind power market globally – supplying 7.3% of the nation’s electricity generation in 2019 – yet this is the first research effort to evaluate the impact of plant age on... Read More
May 8th 2020
Successfully implementing strategic policies in combination with technological innovation is the catalyst needed to decarbonize global industry by 2070, according to a new publication that includes a “blueprint for action”, written by a consortium of researchers including the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). The manufacturing and industrial sectors have enormous potential to contribute to energy... Read More
April 6th 2020
Biofuels are an important part of the broader strategy to replace petroleum-based gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels that we use today. However, biofuels have so far not reached cost parity with conventional petroleum fuels. One strategy to make biofuels more competitive is to make plants do some of the work themselves. Scientists can engineer plants to produce valuable chemical compounds, or bioproducts, as they grow. Then the bioproducts can be ... Read More
April 1st 2020
Extreme weather events – such as severe drought, storms, and heat waves – have been forecast to become more commonplace and are already starting to occur. What has been less studied is the impact on energy systems and how communities can avoid costly disruptions, such as partial or total blackouts. Now an international team of scientists has published a new study proposing an optimization methodology for designing climate-resilient energy... Read More
March 12th 2020
Can scientists understand human behavior enough to figure out what drives the choices you make? In fact, it’s called “decision science,” and it’s something that Anna Spurlock, a behavioral economist with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), specializes in. Spurlock (pictured) spearheads the WholeTraveler Transportation Behavior... Read More
photo of Berkeley Lab’s Arman Shehabi and Sarah Smith by a bank of data processors
February 27th 2020
Data centers are the backbone supporting the world’s ever-increasing need for internet access, data storage, and networking. Demand for data center services has risen sharply over past decades, and data-intensive technologies promise to increase demand further. New research by a team including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (Berkeley Lab's) Arman Shehabi and Sarah Smith shows that energy-efficiency advances have helped avert a... Read More
January 3rd 2020
UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab researchers received notable selection from the American Chemical Society for their recent publication “Control Technology-Driven Changes to In-Use Heavy-Duty Diesel Truck Emissions of Nitrogenous Species and Related Environmental Impacts,” in Environmental Science and Technology. Together, Chelsea Preble, Robert Harley and Thomas Kirchstetter conducted several comprehensive studies of pollutant emissions from heavy-... Read More
December 12th 2019
Lithium ion is probably the most advanced technology available for the packs of rechargeable batteries you’ll buy this holiday season. The batteries also power the vast majority of consumer devices, electric vehicles, and grid storage systems. Despite their ubiquity, lithium-ion batteries have disadvantages. Metals used in the batteries are becoming expensive and one crucial metal, cobalt, is relatively rare and has had recent media focus on... Read More
November 25th 2019
Following an international search, Robert Kostecki has been appointed director of the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources (ESDR) Division in the Energy Technologies Area (ETA) at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Kostecki has extensive leadership experience and is a renowned scientist known for his pioneering research in electrochemical systems engineering. His research focuses on performance... Read More
November 19th 2019
Outstanding work in the field of residential ventilation -- which ultimately resulted in making millions of homes healthier and more comfortable -- has resulted in ETA's Residential Ventilation Team being honored with a Societal Impact Award by Berkeley Lab Director Mike Witherell. Brett Singer, Iain Walker, Brennan Less and Woody Delp (pictured, left to right), were recognized for their scientific research and development of technologies,... Read More
November 4th 2019
The California Efficiency and Demand Management Council recently awarded Charles Goldman the 2019 Art Rosenfeld Lifetime Achievement Award. Goldman, a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) since 1982, has researched and provided technical assistance on electricity markets and policy issues for more than three decades. The council's award cited Goldman's "tireless leadership and innovative spirit contributing... Read More
October 30th 2019
Cutting-edge technologies from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to detect radiation, make buildings more energy efficient, and accelerate neuroscience research were honored with R&D 100 Awards by R&D World magazine. Also recognized was Spack: A Package Manager for HPC Systems, a project led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and which... Read More
October 28th 2019
As part of a video series in which scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) share their favorite periodic table elements, Hugo Destaillats offers his tribute to titanium. Destaillats, a chemical staff scientist/engineer in Berkeley Lab's Energy Technologies Area, notes titanium's use in a variety of everyday products, from eyeglasses to paint. "In our group, we... Read More
October 18th 2019
A recent CNBC video story on ocean desalination technologies, one of several options being explored to address world water shortages, featured Prakash Rao of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab). Rao, a research scientist within the Lab's Energy Technologies Area, conducts analysis of large-scale desalination, focusing on its energy implications. He has co-authored research, for example, that looks at the... Read More
October 9th 2019
Six researchers in the Energy Technologies Area have been recognized in the annual Director's Awards, which applauds outstanding scientific contributions at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Tom McKone received the Berkeley Lab Prize, a lifetime achievement award; Nihar Shah, a research scientist/engineer, received a societal impact award; and the Residential Ventilation Team—Woody Delp, Brennan... Read More
October 8th 2019
Adam Weber’s research team sits together in a cluster of offices, cubicles, and laboratories deep in the labyrinth of the Department of Energy’s (DOE's) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab) Buildings 62 and 70. A staff scientist/engineer who won a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2014, Weber has now collected a solid and multidisciplinary group of undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and staff... Read More
September 23rd 2019
  The National Alliance for Water Innovation, which is led by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has been awarded a five-year, $100-million Energy-Water Desalination Hub by DOE (pending appropriations) to address water security issues in the United States. The Hub will focus on early-stage research and development for energy-efficient and cost-competitive desalination technologies and for... Read More
September 9th 2019
A class of alternative tobacco product called heat-not-burn is quickly gaining in popularity across the globe. The product manufacturers claim that these battery-operated devices produce a “clean,” nicotine-laden vapor that contains fewer irritant and carcinogenic chemicals than a conventional cigarette – and are therefore a less harmful... Read More
July 31st 2019
The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant near U.S. Route 101 (the Pacific Coast Highway) in the northern portion of San Diego County; Carlsbad, California. (Credit: Art Wager/iStock) As populations boom and chronic droughts persist, coastal cities like Carlsbad in... Read More
July 24th 2019
When Hannah Moring was growing up she loved tinkering around with her Dad in his woodworking shop, and learning how things worked and were put together, a fascination that flourished throughout high school, where she excelled in math and science. Today that experience has led her to a prestigious internship this summer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Moring is one of nine interns in the Energy Technologies Area, where... Read More
July 22nd 2019
Black carbon, commonly known as soot, is a significant contributor to global warming and is strongly linked to adverse health outcomes. Produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels – emitted from large trucks, trains, and marine vessels – it is an air pollutant of particular concern to residents in urban areas. Sensors available on the market today are expensive, making black carbon difficult to track. Researchers at the U.S. Department of... Read More
June 26th 2019
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently collaborated on the development of a new kind of roof shingle that will help reduce air pollution. The shingles’ photocatalytic granules, developed by 3M, were evaluated at Berkeley Lab during a three-year testing period to determine effectiveness and performance. The innovative methodology researchers developed during the testing can also be used in evaluations of... Read More
May 29th 2019
A group of industry leaders learned the latest techniques and technologies to save energy and water at a recent two-day event hosted by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings, Better Plants program. The event was held at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Through the Better Plants program, DOE... Read More
May 29th 2019
Two researchers are working at the forefront of water-energy technologies as 2018 Rosenfeld Postdoctoral Fellows at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Akanksha Menon and Arkadeep Kumar joined Berkeley Lab's Energy Technologies Area last year for two-year terms as part of the fellowship, which is awarded to outstanding recent Ph.D. recipients. Both are doing work that honors Arthur H. Rosenfeld's legacy in advancing energy... Read More
Johnson Controls
May 23rd 2019
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Johnson Controls, Inc. released an alpha version of the Building Efficiency Targeting Tool for Energy Retrofits (BETTER) on January 15 at the 2019 AHR conference in Atlanta, Georgia. BETTER provides commercial, institutional, and government building owners and managers with an open-source, easy-to-use tool to target efficiency improvements by turning readily-available, monthly energy... Read More

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